Vermont's rifle season is underway, and hunters have been up before dawn trying to bag a buck. And this year, wardens are enforcing a new ban on the use of natural urine-based scent lures.
The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says the deer population is up slightly above average this year, with an estimated 145,000 deer in the woods.
Deer Project Leader Nick Fortin says the lures could spread chronic wasting disease to Vermont's deer.
“They all come from captive deer facilities, so deer farms. There are only a handful that produce the vast majority of these urine lures. Captive facilities like that are a hotbed for chronic wasting disease,” Fortin said.
Vermont has banned the use of the lures, but not the sale. Hunters will still see natural lures in stores, but are not allowed to bring them into the woods.
Biologists are asking successful hunters to bring their deer to one of the biological check-in stations or to send in the deer teeth for research.